CHUM Television

Context: 'On the cable side, things are perking along fairly well,' says Ellen Baine, VP of programming for CHUM Television. 'But, except for a couple of big hits, our conventional hasn't been doing all that well in the last couple of years.'

Context: ‘On the cable side, things are perking along fairly well,’ says Ellen Baine, VP of programming for CHUM Television. ‘But, except for a couple of big hits, our conventional hasn’t been doing all that well in the last couple of years.’

2005/6 strategy: CHUM’s strategy for the upcoming season, says Baine, ‘is to start playing in the same sandbox as everybody else, going after the 25-54 demographic much more than in the past.’

So the game plan from now on, she says, is to ‘become very pragmatic and less philosophical than we’ve been in the past. It’s time for us to look for those bigger hits, so whether they necessarily fit the Citytv/

A-Channel brand will no longer be the overriding factor. It’ll be more like ‘is it a good show, are a lot of people going to watch and can we make money?’ If so, we’ll try to buy it.’

Doug Checkeris, president and CEO of Toronto’s Media Company, applauds the net’s ‘foray into more scripted programming and less reliance on the movie platform.

‘I guess that’s partly because they have a broader footprint in which to amortize the cost of programming.’

Show offerings: Although Citytv and the A-Channels didn’t have many holes to fill, the net bought 11 new series. These include shows from both current kingmaker Jerry Bruckheimer (Just Legal and Modern Men) and former all-time champ Aaron Spelling (Wanted). CHUM also snagged the mostly widely hailed new comedy, Everybody Hates Chris, starring and produced by comedian Chris Rock – which Baine predicts will ‘knock Joey out of its time-slot on Thursdays at 8:00.’ [For details on Chum's shows, see page 68.]

Baine says Friday should be ‘a powerhouse’ with the new Three Wishes and Hot Properties, plus new-to-CHUM Hope & Faith, added to Supernanny (which moves from Wednesday).